Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'll give you something for which to be thankful!

Does that title make sense? I originally had "I'll give you something to be thankful for" but in an attempt to not end sentences with a preposition, I changed it to that. Here is what Doc Durden has to say about it.

Writing is coming along but another student just gave his final seminar so it's now a race to see who gets done first. This sucks and I'm gonna have to kick it into overdrive if I want to finish before him and in a reasonable amount of time. Thank goodness it's a holiday and I stay at home and write.

J and I will be going to the Westin in Greenville for their Turkey Day buffet so we don't have to wash dishes or cook. I like to cook but the dishes blow, so we're giving this a shot. Of course I'll have a review and maybe some pictures. No promises on the pictures.

I might have a post tomorrow. I'll be carpooling to work with J and then going to Barnes and Noble or somewhere to write and use their wi-fi.

Safe travels and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Friday, November 21, 2008


My brain goo is comin' out all artistical thanks to you!

-Moe when Lisa arranges his post-it note snippets into a poem from the Moe 'N'a-Lisa episode of the Simpsons

The 3rd Triple Threat Challenge happened again today. For the past two occurrences please go here and here. The Fernow cheerleader is plying all those standing in line to try the Triple Threat; a small tower of a burger at 3 patties and 3 bun pieces. I went simple although the guy in front of me upped the ante with bacon, but I knew to enter drawing for the $50 gift card, you only had to finish the basic burger, no bonus points for getting fancy. Meat, cheese, buns, ketchup and mustard. Before I tucked in for the eating, I got a couple extra ketchups and a BBQ sauce. The condiments really help it go down and cover the forcefed saturated fat laden beef I would be eating. Yet again, splitting it up into a open-faced single patty and a full double burger worked like a charm. I checked out about the same time as another competitor and was done by the time he was halfway through because I wasn't stretching my jaw with every bite. My friends estimated about 6 minutes. Sounds about right; it didn't stand a chance.

The Triple Threat is a big burger if you hadn't ever heard of a 20x20 at In'n'Out burger or the other massive burgers out there (like Denny's Beer Barrel Pub SIX pound burger).

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Ever feel like you have too much blood?

Sometimes I do. So I just get rid of it! There are organizations that will gladly remove your blood for you and in return, you get drinks, snacks and a free T-shirt! Usually the t-shirt design sucks but the fact that it is long sleeved and orange more than makes up for it.

Yes J and I donated blood yesterday. I think J does it to help people and I do it for free stuff. I just wish there was a plasma donation center closer, that and sperm are where the big bucks are. Ladies, selling your eggs brings in about $3000 a pop and it would take a lot of meat beating and blood-letting for us to catch up to that. Also I hear if you ever need a blood transfusion, they don't charge regular blood donors for the blood, so another bonus. They are still very prejudiced against gay men though; one of the questions is still "have you ever had sexual contact with a man, even once" and if you answer yes, bam no blood for you, although you might get a sympathy t-shirt.

This blood drive is the annual U of South Carolina/Clemson University blood drive which proceeds the intensely heated rivalry football game (which is actually next weekend but you know, Thanksgiving = no students). It seems that whenever we "lose" the blood drive, we win the football game, but we'll see what happens this year if the Clemson Tigers can whoop up on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

My bike ride into work this morning was brisk, upper 20s brisk, but with my trusty long johns, and winter coat, I was more than prepared. You never really notice elevation changes too much while driving but you get lots of time to ponder inclines while cycling. The one in front of our house is brutal. So far I've only had to walk up it the very first time but it isn't getting much easier. Also I've been pimping my bike (much like this guy) and have added rear baskets, a serious bike chain, and a rear light with a very wicked Knight Rider setting and I'm not talking the shitty new show on NBC. So far I have only ridden at night once but with my fancy LED rear light, my headlamp strapped to my helmet and a light colored shirt, I felt moderately safe. I've been looking for a reflective vest and tape to really make myself stand out for any future night riding. Oh, I also would like a rear view mirror thing on my helmet so I don't have to look over my shoulder; I seriously almost ate it the first time I did that.

Of course since I am me, I have been dreaming about moving much farther up the bicycle scale from my current $40 bike to a sweet carbon fiber bad boy similar to this one but I barely have one thousand dollars sitting around let alone the twelve of thousands that bikes costs. I figure lugging around all this non carbon fiber aluminum will help me get into shape faster.

I hadn't had too many encounters with cars yet, other than a few tires crossing the bike lane line ahead of me and making me super extra wary of most drivers, when this morning a silver Toyota 4Runner decides that it doesn't want to stop behind the white line but keep rolling, and rolling, never mind their light is red, but they were almost blocking the bike lane, so I moved over a bit and gave their hood a pat that really sounded like I threw a brick at her truck.

I of course do not condone vandalizing other people's cars. In fact, much like Vincent, John Travolta's character in Pulp Fiction, I consider it to be one of the lowest acts you can do. The only thing I'm okay with is letting the air out of people's tires. They aren't out any money, just time and a major inconvenience. They don't have to get a new paintjob, or replace their tires, they just need some air; anything else is just wrong. Much like this douchebag.

Okay, off to keep writing!

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Monday, November 17, 2008



Still writing. It's getting a bit easier but it's still a big project that is taking a massive amount of time.

Happy Monday!


Friday, November 14, 2008


Still think there is good in everyone?

I'm always amazed by people who think that there is good in everyone. Nope. That's wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. Some people are just pure evil. If some people are pure good (they're out there) then it of course makes sense that some people are pure evil.

To prove my point, here is a video from CNN about a 6 week old kitten who was being kicked like a football by teenagers in Kingland, Georgia. Fortunately for the kitten, someone saw it, rescued the kitten and took him to Dr. Michael Payne of the Laurel Oaks Animal Hospital. He diagnosed a severely dislocated shoulder and extensive nerve damage and had to amputate the kitten's front right leg. Story from Jacksonville, FL News 4. Here is little Polly aka Tripod:

Personally I would love to adopt a tripod cat or dog. They're just so cute and really loveable, just like a dog from the pound they know that they were in trouble and you saved them. Friend for life.

This also brings to light why J should not be an animal cop. She is a strong believer in the "eye for an eye" policy when it comes to animal abuse. You kicked and threw a kitten like a football? We're going to kick and throw you like a football. You chained a dog outside and didn't give it water or food for 2 weeks? Now you get to experience that. Good luck.

She has no sympathy for bad pet owners and people who mistreat animals. As she repeatedly says, abusing animals is one strong precursor to abusing and killing people. Here's a couple links to studies with very strong evidence.

If you wouldn't do it to a human, don't do it to an animal. And if you would do it do an animal or human, please raise your hand so we can take you into custody.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008



Personally I think one stop shops are the way to go, assuming you use the space efficiently. Drop your motorcycle off at the mechanic, grab a beer and a sandwich, email, blog, maybe get a tattoo? Doesn't that sound like a great idea? Well if you live in Oakland, CA, you can go there today! It's called Godspeed and it's a motorcycle shop, dyno, gear store, cafe/bar, and tattoo parlor all rolled into one! (Although on a very sad note a dear friend to their garage Norton Aaron passed away recently. Please keep his friends and family in your thoughts.)

This one isn't a one stop shop but is definitely an ecogarage. Luscious Garage specializes in hybrids (probably Priuses but I assume they do others like Camrys, Escapes, Vues and the new Honda Insight) and do tune-ups, repairs and even convert them to all electric. They have a range of 12-15 miles of all electric but considering most trips are within 2 miles of your house, that's a decent range. It's also the only hybrid garage run by a woman and that woman is Carolyn Coquillette. NYTimes article via San Francisco Journal by Felicity Barringer.

Yes both of these garages are in the Bay Area in Cali, but hopefully this will catch on in other areas. I think it's a very ecofriendly use of a business and space as well. It's also insulated a bit from one general area. Especially considering motorcycles are a summer heavy industry, the cafe could still be open year-round and making money.

Almost forgot, if you're near Godspeed on a Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, they do an all you can eat waffle and bacon brunch featuring a never-ending mimosa. Sounds like heaven!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Thank You Veterans!

Be sure to thank the men and women who made this country what it is! I specifically thank my Uncle who served in Vietnam and both grandfathers who served in World War II. Of course also Dr. Sean at Doc in the Box for keeping our men and women healthy on the front lines. Thank you all for selflessly serving this country.

Cynical Chris posted this link to Boston's The Big Picture blog, which, if you haven't visited please kick yourself, is a collection of unbelievable pictures from around the world. But it has inspired me to pursue research in Antarctica! I know J would like to observe penguins and seals, I could help with ice core samples or wherever a set of hands and a sharp mind is needed, and we would both love the other-worldly setting of Antarctica. I just saw that you get a medal for being below 60 degrees South for 30 days straight, so I think that means it's really tough both physically and mentally. Of course a short position would definitely help with the cats since I don't think they would like the South Pole and also wouldn't like being in some strange house for 6 months to a year. Yes I know, first things first and I have to graduate before that happens, but it would still be pretty awesome. The job search is starting to ramp up as the dissertation nears completion (no not that close yet) but I'm still just looking now, not actually applying.

So in that vein, back to writing!

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Monday, November 10, 2008


Sometime you fondue, sometimes you fondont

We bought some delicious cranberry cheddar from Whole Foods (via Vermont) in order to make fondue for a late anniversary dinner. We never got around to it but that should happen this week sometime.

I missed an autocross to write yesterday. It hurt but I performed quality work and am now closer to finishing and graduating.

I present in group meeting today and will show various positive results.

A co-worker, his wife, his wife's sister, her man, J and I all went hiking on Saturday. It was nice. I miss camping though. I would've loved to stay near our final destination, pitch a tent, scrounge for firewood, cook dinner over a fire, lay down, look at the stars and sleep in my comfy warm sleeping bag, instead of hiking back down the mountain, getting into a car and eating chicken fingers from Guthries.

Real post and pictures coming later this week. Feliz Monday everyone!

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Friday, November 07, 2008


Feeling blue surrounded by red

Hmmm, I'm trying to think of a good simile for that image but can't. Ice cube in Kool-aid? Blueberry in a cranberry bog?

Our county voted for McCain by 72%. They voted 78% Bush in 2004, so I guess some GOPers came to their senses or lots of Obama supporters came out of the woodworks. J has encountered some fellow Obama supporters at work.

Lunchtime! Back to finish later.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Last things first

We bought the cats an early Christmas present! 6 feet of cat insanity! Check it:

That would be around $300-$500 in a store and we got it for much less than that on eBay of course!

To recap the last race of the 2008 F1 season, first a little background. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is ahead in the manufacturer's championship followed closely by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. (Got to keep those sponsors happy!) Lewis Hamilton of McLaren Mercedes is ahead in the driver's championship by 7 points over Ferrari's Felipe Massa. The only way Felipe can win is if he finishes first, and Lewis finishes 6th or lower, or if Felipe finishes 2nd, if Lewis finishes 8th or lower, so it's basically Lewis' championship to lose but Felipe is racing in front of his hometown crowd in Sao Paolo, Brazil! He literally grew up racing go-karts in the shadow of the race track they will race on. Qualifying is going well with fast times being traded back and forth in the 2nd session. But in the third session, you cannot add fuel to the car so you must start the race with that amount of fuel on board, so the cars are slower and strategy is all important.

Felipe qualifies on pole! In front of thousands of screaming Brazilians! And his family! Jarno Trulli does an amazing job for Panasonic Toyota to get 2nd. Kimi Raikkonen (Felipe's teammate) puts his Ferrari right behind Felipe in 3rd. The Mercedes boys are right behind them in 4th and 5th for Lewis and Heikki Kovaleinen. The amazing young German Sebastian Vettel puts his Ferrari powered Red Bull in 7th and proceeds to have an amazing race. His teammate Sebastian Bourdais starts in 9th and doesn't have a great race.

The race start is delayed because of an out of nowhere storm that soaks the front stretch and starting grid, so the FIA pushes the start back so the teams can put on some rain tires. But then the race starts and poor David Coulthard, in his last career race after 246 F1 starts, was knocked out by a combo of Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima both of AT&T Williams Toyota. In the following interview David commented on how he started his F1 career with Williams and it was kind of fitting that they would end his career too. His car wore a special livery (the car color and sponsors) that all the teams OK'd for the race to support the Wings for Life spinal cord research foundation. Tough break DC and good luck next year commenting for British TV. Hopefully you can maybe do a guest appearance for SpeedTV's coverage so we can hear your charming Scottish brogue once again.

The race progresses and Felipe is off like a bandit with Jarno and Kimi in hot pursuit. Lewis is chugging along in 4th. Everyone is on dry tires now and at 17 laps left, I think the race is over with Felipe winning but Lewis winning the championship. Then the weather report comes in. Rain in the next 10 minutes. Everyone waits for the rain and see who will flinch first and dive into the pits for wet tires. There they go! Most everyone pits and Felipe retains his lead. The Toyota boys, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, stay out on their dry tires in hopes that the rain stays soft and then can eek their way to a couple higher positions. Everyone comes back out but wait! With Timo Glock not pitting, he's now in 4th, which means Lewis Hamilton is in 5th and that is the lowest position he can finish and still win the driver's championship. No big deal, but here comes Sebastian Vettel in his Scuderia Toro Rosso! He's in 6th and chasing Lewis down. There are 4 laps left and Sebastian gets by! Lewis got stuck behind some lap traffic and Sebastian pounced! Lewis is now losing the championship! Sebastian tries to pull away but Lewis keeps it close. 4 laps left, 3 laps left, 2 laps left, white flag, one lap left! Lewis NEEDS to get by Sebastian. The rain is starting to pick up which suits their rain tires just fine but where is Timo? He's still on dry tires and is struggling to stay in 4th. Lewis must get by, he must. Sebastian rounds the last turn before the long pedal to the metal (or carbon fiber) straight away followed closely by Lewis, but who is that white and red car slip sliding around? It's Timo!

Lewis passes Timo on the absolute last corner to regain 5th position and the world championship. I was on the edge of my seat with my mouth agape. I couldn't believe what I was watching. Unbelievable season for Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes so congratulations to him and congratulations to Ferrari for they won the manufacturer's championship and can still claim to be world champs.

Good luck practicing in the off-season, hiring and firing drivers, and developing cars for the new 2009 rules. See you in March in Australia!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Congratulations Barack Obama and Joe Biden!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Happy 2nd Anniversary to J and Seth!!!!!!!!!

Ha, almost forgot to post that, and we're planning a lovely date night for Friday and then there will be homemade fondue on Sat. 2 years of marriage is delicious!

As I was running errands this morning, I swung by East Clemson Baptist Church to scope out the line. It was barely out the door and I didn't feel like waiting, so I went back to the bank which hadn't opened yet and then to school. About an hour of work and then back to vote! Of course my plan of not waiting was ruined because the line was about twice as long. I also couldn't help but notice all the signs at the entrance to the polling place. I need to check and see what the law is, so those might be okay but there was a McPalin sign at the far edge of the parking lot, like someone had measured the night before. I took my(okay J's) Obama magnets off the car as I parked in fact, just to make sure I wasn't breaking any rules. Waiting in line wasn't bad. The sun was shining, a nice cool breeze was blowing and people were chatting in line. They found my name, okayed me for voting in the local elections and then powered up my touch screen voting booth. I actually skipped the presidential and voted for senate first. I wrote in Brian "Ryan B" Doyle for Congressman, Bob Conley for Senator and then went back to President. I really like Ralph Nader and would love to see him as President, but J wanted me to vote Obama and I almost did since his grandmother died yesterday. In the end I went with my 2nd choice of Bob Barr because I wanted to vote 3rd party to protest how influential corporations have become in governing this country and the 2 party system plays right into that. However, if Obama loses SC by one vote, feel free to hold me accountable. I'm pretty sure McCain has it in the bag though.

J will hopefully be voting tonight. I'm meeting her at home at 5:15 and then going to our old polling place because when she updated her license, she forgot to double check that they updated her voting registration, which they did not. You have to watch those DMV people like a hawk!

It's going to be an exciting election. Oh, one older lady I was talking to after I shared the story about the 106 yr. old black lady in Georgia who voted for Obama, said that one of her friends wanted to vote and "make history". She said she didn't care about history and just wanted to live (which to me said McCain and old white lady in SC, that's a safe bet), but it was a nice talk before we voted.

Tomorrow, congrats on the election and recap of the last race of the F1 2008 season and the new champion!

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Monday, November 03, 2008


Post in the works!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

I did zero exciting things for Halloween.

I rode my bike to school twice this week, drove the other 3.

Writing is still coming along and it will come along much more tomorrow bright and earlyish.

We're hiking somewhere on Sunday.

I wrote at home today and it was very nice. The cats enjoyed it and I did too until the cats got on my nerves with their constant attention cravings.

J and I really enjoyed the university's climbing wall competition on Thursday because they put up all new routes and problems. Of course Fall Break is Monday and Tuesday so we won't be able to climb again for free until next Thursday. Jerks.

I'm going to go upstairs and get some sleep before writing tomorrow and then some college football, the Georgia/Florida game to be specific.

Hopefully I'll have some election coverage and my voting preview on Monday. Mostly local but I'll also highlight some big ballot initiatives around the country.

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